Kicking off the Performance Marketing Insights: London event, Jon Myers, vice president and MD of EMEA at Marin Software, gave a presentation that included some of the top industry trends to keep an eye on.

PerformanceIN had the pleasure of reporting on Myers’ session, so if you were unable to make the conference and exhibition at the Park Plaza hotel, stay tuned for his five biggest trends in performance.

1. Search is learning from display

While businesses double their efforts to remove silos and have departments working together more cohesively, different performance marketing channels are already starting to break down the barriers that separate them.

Search may have been the last consideration when implementing a digital marketing strategy, but now it might be the first item on a media plan because of how well it tends to convert. Recent IAB figures attribute search with 55% of digital media revenues compared to display’s 30%.

In the past, paid search involved a scattergun approach to keyword insights. It has since learned from display and now considers audiences as the new keyword metric. An example of this can be seen in the term ‘credit card’.

If you target high earners or affluent customers who search the term, you might give them your top rewards or perks. For the students or frequent travellers, low rates and double miles would be used to entice them, whereas you might avoid existing customers altogether with a 100% negative bid boost.

2. Display is learning from search

Talk about reciprocation! Not content with search taking some of its features, display has taken a few pages out of search’s book and this all stems from biddable media, a concept that has fuelled a renewed interest in display campaigns.

Display is now considered an auction model rather than a branded model. It has fed this by using search intent keywords to drive how marketers advertise to that customer. Retargeting campaigns take all the data about how a search term found that company and then push it out to exchanges to retarget customers based around those keywords.

3. Search and social work together

Customer journeys are becoming more fragmented. They will browse the likes of Bing, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook before they finally making a purchase. According to Google, 65% of revenue comes from purchases made in more than one step.

RBC Capital Markets and Advertising Age figures have 50% of all media budgets being spent on search and social. Google and Facebook are the number one and number two channels for return on investment.

Social works really well as an assist tool because of its ability to helps sales through other channels. Google figures suggest that for every social click resulting in a purchase, there are two clicks assisting another converting channel.

It is a common misconception that social does not produce a return on investment. If you happened to look at your sales figures in more detail, you would see that there is actually a healthy share of sales that come from social. So much so that if the channel was disabled, you would lose out on revenue.

4. Cross channel is about the consumer, not the channel

Myers argued that perhaps cross-channel marketing should be called cross-consumer marketing. The data exists to profile a great deal of a consumer’s internet usage habits, but how much do marketers actually know?

While a typical consumer uses Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest they like sun rather than rain, they shop at GAP and they have an MPV. It is all data that marketers have access to, yet how does this work in cross-channel marketing?

Nowadays it is possible to drop a smart pixel into a site. Not only does this help to understand the person that arrives at the website, marketers can develop a picture of the consumer and how they operate the website. For example, what they search for and how they categorise their search.

Using the insights gained from these smart pixels, consumers can be segregated into behavioural-based audiences. For instance, they could be a luxury customer that made it to the shopping cart, but did not convert. 

With this technology you can push out a unified message based on the customer’s likes and behavioural patterns. You can send the same promotional message to Twitter, Facebook and Google.

5. Programmatic is moving towards transparency

Even with concerns over transparency and fraud, programmatic spend is doubling in size. Just think what the channel could achieve if it became completely transparent.  

Of course it is important to be transparent. Marketers need to pull the data to make honest reports to see how their spend is working, such as where the ad is placed, how the ad has performed in context and is it above the fold or below the fold.

There has to be a drive for transparency. Myers commented on how he was seeing this trend at Marin Software. Going into 2015 more data exchanges,  DSPs and networks will be working together and consolidating across display as well as search and social.